Classical 91.5

Classical Blog

I don’t always think to mention it. I’m so used to it, that in most situations I pretty much forget about it, until someone asks me if I’m nervous or wonders if they’re making me uncomfortable.

“Oh no, I’m not worried. My hands just shake! It’s called Essential Tremor.”

It’s something I’ve had as long as I can remember – at least since third grade, when I went to a neurologist. I remember three things about that visit:

At this point in the winter, 19 degrees would probably feel like a heat wave - but that temperature still felt plenty cold the day that I gave winter biking a try with filmmakers Alex Weiser and Ander Kazmerski, for Rochester Street Films, a project by Reconnect Rochester.
 

You can see the results in a short movie here: 

The Telegraph

A conductor, a soprano, and a (still) empty plot of land. 

2017 unfolded with the good, the bad, and the ugly -- in behavior that rocked the arts world, media, politics, and academics.  

Here are five stories that made arts headlines in Rochester and beyond.

Carmen on Ice!

Dec 21, 2017

In case this wondrous and magical bit of art has somehow escaped your notice I felt it was important to take some time to share this with you: Carmen on Ice.

This TV movie made in 1990 follows the story of the opera Carmen and uses Georges Bizet's beloved music. Carmen on Ice stars some of the leading figure skaters of the time: Katarina Witt, Brian Boitano, and Brian Orser.  The skaters don't sing their roles, but they do still convey the drama, passion, and wit of the story and the interactions of the characters through their performances. Despite the ridiculousness of the whole idea, it's pretty captivating. 

Rosewood and Marimba Futures

Dec 15, 2017

Classical musicians have long been wary of traveling abroad with instruments made from rare materials – especially rosewood, a “tonewood” used in many instruments including cellos, clarinets, and guitars. The trade of rosewood has long been regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), but new regulations passed in 2016 have tightened restrictions even more, requiring extensive permits and examinations when traveling with instruments containing rosewood.

Read more about the reasons for these regulations here.

Most musical instruments contain less than 20 pounds of regulated rosewood, but this is still enough to worry traveling musicians, whose instruments might be confiscated to ensure that their rosewood tuning pegs were not obtained through illegal means. The musicians hit the hardest by these regulations: marimbists.

Photo by: Pavel Vaan & Leonid Semenyuk

Dmitri Hvorostovsky was an amazing opera singer.  He had such a voice and dramatic stage presence, and he was charming, handsome, and distinctive.

I am just one of many who count him among my favorites and mourn his passing. I’m struggling to write anything of substance to explain how intensely I love his performances, and the tears that I’m shedding at the death of someone I didn’t actually know in person – just admired so very much.  

Mark Grube

It takes a village to eat all the leftovers.  That's according to an informal survey of WXXI hosts and friends.  Need fresh ideas for your holiday?  Taste and see. 

Fried Oysters

This recipe comes from awesome WXXI volunteer and singer Eric Logan.

Percussion Road Trip - Eastman at PASIC

Nov 15, 2017
Photo by Ken Yanagisawa

Catherine Cole is a graduate student in percussion at the Eastman School of Music, who is currently interning with WXXI through the Eastman Arts Leadership Program. 

You can watch her performances here online

This past weekend, I attended the annual Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), held in Indianapolis. PASIC is a four-day gathering of percussionists and drummers from all over the world to present research, attend clinics, and hear the world’s best musicians in concert. This year’s PASIC was particularly special to me because I had the opportunity to perform with my classmates in the Eastman Percussion Ensemble in a Showcase Concert. We were one of three collegiate ensembles who were awarded a PASIC concert slot after winning the Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition for 2017.

  Connoisseurs of modern music, Polish culture enthusiasts, and Twin Peaks fans – take note:

Songs of the Valiant: Expressing Honor through Music

Nov 10, 2017

  This is a guest blog post by members of the Empire Film Music Ensemble, who you may have heard playing The Little Theatre before our Classical 91.5 Presents...movie screenings. This post by Claire and Grant reflect their thoughts on the music they will be playing tonight for Veteran's Day.  

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